we salute you.
Just two nights ago, after returning from a rather splendid late-night ride w/many stars, cars and folks in bars, I came back to my humble abode, parked my 2-wheeled friend, kissed my wife & daughter and set about having a Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA [which would have to be, in my earnest estimate, one of life's truly great pleasures].
All was well in my small slice of the universal pie. Sipping beer, writing a piece that will soon be published in a rather large magazine, while hearing the dulcet tones of wife & daughter having a school lesson in the very next room.
That silence, quiet & sublime, was rocked like an assblast from the colon of Satan himself... with a sound that had to be slightly more pronounced than a full-bore .357 Magnum going off at extremely close range.
"Wow, what the hell was that??!!", I distinctly recall asking myself, while hearing Chloe start screaming at the top of her 7-year old lungs and Amy say, "OH, MY GOD!!" I have zero recall of how I came to get in the living room, I assume it was something akin to levitation actually... I think I floated out there in 10th gear like a specter on crank, tach red-lining, in 101% fight-mode, ready to tackle wife & daughter both, while assuming that the Crips and Bloods had started a turf war in our foyer. I was hard-rocked, cold-cocked, light, tight and ready to fight. Total Marine Corps mode [never mind that I was never in the Marine Corps, but my dad was... does that count?].
As my senses, and hearing, started to come back into focus I noticed a blackish cloud floating in the living room. Still surrounded by the banshee-like wailing of Chloe, who was sitting, fingers stuffed into tiny ears, tears streaming down her little red face, Amy said to me that there had been a soft, squirming sound followed by 30 seconds of silence before the thunder clap occurred. I looked over at my bike: front end fine, eyes trailed to the other end of my steed, Schwalbe Snow Stud half on/half off. Chunks of inner tube littered all about that area of the living room.
Hmmmm. Odd. I knew this scenario [once] in my younger, naive, inexperienced, early bicycling years-when I had foolishly mounted a very wide tire on a rather slim racing rim, and hoping against hope, the thing blew off in a matter seconds. Lesson Learned. Wide shit doesn't work on thin shit. Easy Peasy, done... Next.
But what the hell happened here? I mounted these tires 5 weeks ago... they mounted perfectly. No problems whatsoever. Other than my wipe out, nothing out of the ordinary had ever happened since then. 26" Sun Rhyno-Lite rims, Schwalbe Snow Studs in the 26 x 1.9 flavor, new inner tubes that measured 26" as well, and up to 2.00 width... this made no sense.
After calming Chloe down, I set about examining the evidence... without pulling everything apart that late at night, I couldn't find a thing. I posted the event to the BOB-List. Many opinions surfaced: ranging from outdoor temps to indoor temps... the fact that my last ride [earlier that evening] had been in wet weather, etc, etc, etc... but nothing really explained it.
The next day dawned and the truth was revealed. Upon close inspection I could see an area of the bead, in exactly the place that the blow out happened, were the steel wires were exposed. Just for the sake of absolute confirmation, I re-installed the tire in the complete opposite area of the rim with a new tube. Didn't look good with 30 PSI. Backed it down, applied a serious amount of pinch-pressure to that area and brought the tire back up to the recommended PSI of 65. Looked odd still, but slightly better. Installed the wheel, spun it, saw a bulge forming, called out to Amy & Chloe, "COVER YOUR EARS... SHE'S GONNA BLOW!!"... and before I could take my own advice:
BAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM! She went. Walked around for an hour like a 25-year demolitions expert... stone deaf, head pounding, nice buzzing sound somewhere deep inside my cranium.
Okay, it's the bead... and it's defective. Lesson Learned. Confirmed with a couple different Bike Buddies who said as much. It's going back to Schwalbe.
The front Snow Stud is performing great [fingers crossed, it stays that way too]... so now I'm studded up front and Schwalbe Marathon'd in the rear.
Here's hoping to an early Spring.